Ashley walked to school today. For a lot of students that is not such a big deal, but Ashley lives two and a half miles away. This eleven year old walked along a busy state highway, with no sidewalk. She was a little late, red-faced and slightly out of breath, but she made it.
For some reason, the bus stopped a couple minutes early today. She wasn't there, so it left without her. Two minutes later, Ashley started watching for the bus. After 20 minutes of waiting, with both parents at work, and no one to call, that is when Ashley decided to walk to school. This may not have been the best decision, but it showed a determination to get to school.
I started thinking about all the comments we hear about kids. Things like, kids today don't have the work ethic... these kids today just don't... and all kids want to do is play video games or kids just don't care about...
The people who make negative comments about today's students are comparing a slower paced less challenging time with today's high speed world. They are missing the fact that success today looks different than in the past. In school, the expectations for students in this test-driven time is stressful and often stymies creativity, but students persevere.
These people are so wrong about these kids today. They are not in a classroom watching kids day after day give their all until they succeed. Students today are smart. They are creative. They think critically. They have the courage to question. And as Ashley showed, they have the ability and determination to solve problems.
I think the next time I hear someone talk about these kids today, I will ask what he accomplished by the time he was eleven. The students in Reading Workshop write and publish blogs that are read worldwide. I think that says a lot about these kids today.